A local dog charity says that while they welcome figures that show a reduction in the number of dogs being surrendered in 2013, they say that the numbers are likely to increase massively.
Dundalk Dog Rescue say a number of factors will likely see a big increse in the number of destructions.
This week Dogs Trust welcomed an 11.5% reduction in the number of dogs entering the pounds system inIrelandin 2013 compared to 2012.
Statistics released by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government also revealed a 21% reduction in the number of dogs being destroyed in pounds over the same period.
“Whilst 2013 may have seen a reduction in dogs entering the pounds and being put down, it is unlikely that this trend will continue into 2014 as so far this year we have seen a dramatic increase in numbers being surrendered into the pound together with an increase in strays,” Edel Halpin of Dundalk Dog Rescue told the Democrat. “Added to the increase of dogs entering the pounds there is the reduction in rescue places available now to Irish dogs in the UK – the main outlet for them – because of the passport enforcement under the Balai Directive.
“The increased costs for an Irish rescue to passport all dogs entering the UK puts huge pressure on rescues like ourselves.
“Each dog has to receive a rabies vaccination (although no rabies in Ireland or in the UK), microchip in addition to the normal 7/1 vaccinations that a dog only required in the past.
“The extra costs come in at between 55 and 65 euros per dog not including the extra weeks the dogs have to stay in kennels which has now increased to 6 to 7 weeks from 2 to 3 weeks.
“UK pounds are also experiencing an increase in the number of strays and surrenders because of the economic climate and all of these factors spell bad news for Irish dogs. DDR helped over 800 dogs in 2013 to new lives in the UK with a small number going to Sweden and Italy.”
DDR believe that this figure will be dramatically reduced this year because of lack of rescue spaces available to DDR and the extra passport and kennelling costs involved.
“Ireland, in the past 10 to 12 years, received massive help from rescues like Dogs Trust who at one stage provided the pounds with vouchers covering neutering, chipping and vaccinations for dogs rehomed directly to the public by them, in an attempt to reduce the huge number of unwanted dogs in Ireland, but many of the people who received vouchers when homing a dog handed the voucher back with the dog to the pound and in many cases the dog was in pup.
“This sums up the attitude of the majority of people in Ireland to neutering. Ireland had more than enough chances to come to terms with the huge problem but failed to do so and now it is too late for the future dogs.”
Up to 10 dogs a day (3,516 dogs a year) are still being destroyed in Irish pounds.
Speaking about these latest figures, Mark Beazley, Executive Director at Dogs Trust explains
‘“When a dog is picked up by a dog warden and enters the pound system as a stray, the pound has a legal obligation to keep the dog for 5 days in case the owner comes forward looking for their pet.”
However, when a dog is handed over by its owner, the pound has no legal obligation to keep it for any length of time and the dog could be put to sleep the same day. The majority of these dogs are healthy animals surrendered by owners who cannot or, in some cases, will not care for their pet any more.
Dogs Trust never destroy a healthy dog and our message to dog owners is very simple – please be a responsible dog owner by neutering and microchipping your pet.
Dogs Trust runs affordable neutering and microchipping campaigns throughout the year and welcomes the introduction of compulsory microchipping of all dogs by 2016.”
Dogs Trust has been actively working with pounds across Irelandin order to rehabilitate stray and abandoned dogs and rehome them through their centre in Dublin. Operations Manager at Dogs Trust, Catriona Birt comments:
“Of the dogs entering our Rehoming Centre, 70% have come directly from the pound system with the majority of them being there, through no fault of their own. No breed is exempt from being abandoned or surrendered. Since we opened in 2009 we have rehomed almost 4,000 dogs and we have genuinely seen almost every size and type of dog come through our doors. The addition of our new Puppy Wing which will open in June this year will ensure we can save up to 500 additional puppies each year at our Rehoming Centre”
Dogs Trust is currently operating at full capacity with over 160 dogs and puppies in their care, including pregnant bitches, week old puppies and golden oldies.
If you are considering getting a dog, why not give a stray or abandoned dog a second chance of love and of life. For more information visit www.dogstrust.ie or call to Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre, Old Ashbourne Road, Finglas, Dublin 11. Opening hours 12 noon – 4pm including weekends, closed on Tuesdays.